Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cutting Laminate Counter Tops

First, my apologies for being out of touch. In addition to being all consumed by this kitchen project, we also had the wedding of my husbands little brother and next weekend a party for my mom... more on that next week.

For now I wanted to share how we cut the laminate counter tops for our kitchen renovation. By going with standard Ikea counter tops rather than custom cut ones we were able to save a boat load.  Like $300 vs. $900. We even got one quote for $2100. For Laminate!!!

But cutting laminate is a bit tricky, here is what we did.

First, plan to do this outside or in a garage, cutting laminate counter tops is MESSY.

Next, apply masking/painters tape over the good side of the laminate, measure and mark where you want to cut. The tape will help prevent the the laminate from chipping too much. It won't prevent it completely, but it will help a lot.

Then using clamps attach a long level or other straight edge to the counter tops so that you have a guide to cut against. And then cut the counter tops using a circular saw. Another tip to prevent chipping - CUT SLOW. Don't rush it.

The Ikea counter tops come with a strip that you glue on to hid the cut... but that doesn't help with any chipping you've had to the top... but stay with me here.

After you install the counter tops I discovered a great way to hide the chipping, see that light edge there between the stone and the flecked counter top?

Well, just take a sharpie and a paper towel.

Simply color the raw edge with the sharpie, but only about 12 inches at a time:

Bear with me, I know that looks awful, why would anyone want to do THAT???

Well, here is why... with the marker still wet, rub with the paper towel and the marker will come off the counter top and soak into raw edge.

And here is what you end up with:
A perfect edge!!!


  1. Looking great! Have you replaced the coutertop around your sink yet? My husband is a little nervous about cutting that part. Although I just saw this tutorial: for painting over your existing coutertops and I'm really tempted to try that before replacing them.

  2. Maggie, I just wanted to thank you for your posts on your kitchen upgrade - thanks to you, I went and bought this exact same ikea countertop (which I love!)!!! but can you tell me - what glue did you use for the strips? did you buy something special, or just use regular glue? Thanks! =)

  3. We used wood glue and over a month later, everything is still holding well.

    Can't wait to see your new counter tops! You're going to LOVE them!

  4. A table saw, circular saw, or reciprocating saw should be able to cut the counters. With regards to the different saws, you need to take some precautions... don't let the blade get bound by the top shifting, being careful to not chip the laminate, etc. If using a saw, you need a high tooth count blade to minimize the laminate blow-out, or chipping... preferably carbide tipped. quartz countertops

  5. Hi -- how are is the pragel countertop now? I just found your blog. We are considering them in our house and I would love your feedback after a few years of use!

  6. I totally forgot mine came with the edging pieces. I am repurposing them now, and I have moved 3 times since I bough it. So I imagine it is somewhere, although I have no clue where now...

    Another thing to try with the laminate is after you have a straight edge clamped down. Use a new, heavy duty utility knife and score through the top. Lots of lighter cuts over and over. this will get you through the top and then you can cut it and it should help with chipping.

    Plus what other people said. Go slow, super high tooth count, etc.


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